As I write this, I am sitting in front of my neighborhood Barnes & Noble. I am getting ready to go inside and do some market research, because I have a set of very beginning reader manuscripts that I want to submit.
This collection of stories got a verbal offer on it once years ago. That was when my agent submitted it to a former editor colleague of hers who loved them and made a verbal offer on them as a as a single picture book anthology of stories. But the timing wasn’t right, the editor said, and the official offer never materialized. They have sat in my Abandoned files for years. Then another editor recently looked at a TON of manuscripts for me, including these. Out of the whole bunch, she said about this project: “These probably came the closest; I like what you’ve done with these small stories. The question is what they are—and I think the answer is a collection of board books. They didn’t feel like a picture book anthology to me.”
These stories are kind of an odd beast because they are short even for beginner readers. And beginner readers are a terrible market to try to break into. I know this. But here I am ready to do more market research to submit these to some new editors. I love these little stories. I want them to become books. So I am ignoring the odds.
Every time I submit a manuscript, I know the answer from the editor is probably going to be no thanks. That is just this business. But, I just keep telling myself that with enough persistence and practice on my part, somebody will say yes.
And that has been my experience. If you submit good work to enough people, somebody will eventually connect with it enough to want to publish it. So on every single submission, I ignore the likely outcome, because I love writing for kids.
I look at the long view. I keep researching. I keep writing. And I keep submitting. I hope you do, too.